Avanti Finance funding

Avanti Finance, Tech-led NBFC focused on financial inclusion, on Wednesday announced it raised $26 million (Rs 195 crore) in Series A and debt from Nomura, Oikocredit, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Technopreneur-cum-philanthropist Pratul Shroff and existing investor NRJN Trust also participated in the round. 

According to a statement, Avanti plans to utilize the funds to strengthen its platform and increase its presence to boost livelihoods purpose credit and other financial products to the next 100 million unserved and underserved households in India. 

Founded in 2016 by Ratan Tata and Nandan Nilekani, Bengaluru-based social fintech startup Avanti Finance intends to facilitate sustainable livelihoods and empower the next 100 million households by means of accessible and affordable financial services. 

The pair brought in Lalitesh Katragadda as its Chief Product and Technology Officer, Manish Thakkar as the Chief Operating Officer, and Rahul Gupta as the CEO.

Speaking about the fundraise, Rahul Gupta, CEO of Avanti, stated, “We are excited and humbled to have this consortium of marquee investors partner with Avanti in our goal to build a population scale platform to usher in the next era of financial inclusion — one that will be digital-first and empower our users towards stronger financial health and economic opportunities. This is a testimony of the passion of the entire Avanti team.”

Avanti Finance’s digital platform enables a paperless, presence-less, and cashless approach to lending that will decrease costs and friction for unserved and underserved segments, particularly in rural India. 

Commenting on the development, Anirudh Sarda, Equity Officer, Oikocredit, said, “We anticipate technology to play a transformational role in the way financial services are accessed, especially by the low-income segments. Avanti’s vision and mission are deeply aligned with our principle of promoting sustainable development through responsible financial services. We are excited to partner with Avanti to take financial inclusion to the next level with this equity investment.” 

Sharing similar views, Samir Bhandari, Head of Global Markets Sales, Asia ex-Japan, Nomura, stated, “Fintech incumbents have predominantly targeted the urban population. We believe technology will play a major role in enabling credit access to the rural and unbanked population, and Avanti is at the forefront of driving this. Nomura, in line with our ESG environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations, and our mission to help enrich society through our expertise in capital markets, is excited to partner with Avanti in this initiative.”

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